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In just 60 days, the pandemic and lockdown changed our way of life permanently. Sure, the economy will recover and we'll be able to go to restaurants again. But some changes are here to stay. And those changes are unprecedented profit opportunities for those who find them, especially in e-commerce stocks.
As I sit here writing from my kitchen table, most people are working from home, nonessential businesses are closed, and over 36 million people have filed jobless claims in the United States. On top of that, retail sales in April were down a record 16.4% amid the lockdowns.
While the country is slowly starting to open back up, the way we conduct business has changed forever.
Teleconferences, ordering groceries to your door, and shopping online have grown exponentially and have become a part of our normal daily life. In the past month, I've spoken with several executives who now don't see the need for as much employee travel and could even cut some office space in the wake of the pandemic. Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) has even come out saying that its roughly 5,000 employees can work from home indefinitely if they choose. Many other tech giants including Apple and Google have also set guidelines to allow employees to work from home into 2021.
As we open back up, there are also going to be restrictions preventing stores and restaurants from operating at full capacity, preventing them from even making a profit in some cases.
This means big changes, not just for corporations, but for small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. While companies like Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) have flourished during the last few months, they are not the economy.
Small businesses make up the backbone of this country.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the Unites States making up 99.9% of all businesses and roughly 50% of all U.S. employees. Part of the reason they have been the hardest hit is that many small businesses are primarily brick and mortar and only serve their local community. A study done by Clutch.co shows that less than two-thirds of small businesses even have a website. This means that during the shutdown, many small retail shops have no alternative but to close their doors.
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That is why I'm going to share with you today a company that is providing essential services to get small businesses up and running in the digital world.
And it could make them one of the biggest winners of the new economy…
The E-Commerce Stock That Could Save Small Businesses
E-commerce is exploding and becoming a larger and larger part of the multitrillion-dollar retail sales market. According to new data from Adobe's Digital Economy Index, U.S. e-commerce jumped 49% in April, compared to early March, when restrictions did not exist. What I really like about this growth is that it is faster than Amazon's 26% net sales growth in the first quarter.
This means that small businesses are looking to take a bite out of Amazon's sales. Just look at the growth of companies like Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP), which helps small businesses create online stores. Its stock is up over 100% since the beginning of April. Or Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY), which saw small businesses sell products at a record pace.
Demand for creating an online presence is accelerating as businesses around the globe adapt to the current environment, and there is plenty of market left to capture. Even when retail opens back up and our economy returns to normal, businesses will continue with online sales in order to bolster their sales.
About the Author
Alex Kagin is the Director of Technology Investing Research at Money Map Press. He has spent the last decade working in equity research, most recently with Energy Capital Research Group (ECRG), where he led technology stock research along with working as part of a team developing a customizable financial data platform for securities analysis.
Prior to joining ECRG, Alex spent 8 years at DeMatteo Research, a boutique primary research firm and broker-dealer servicing the institutional investment community. He managed the Tech, Media, and Telecom vertical where he spent time connecting with hundreds of tech executives and hedge funds to get the pulse of the market.
Alex has a B.S. in Economics from American University and previously held Series 7 and 63 security licenses.